I’m pleased today to focus on something that doesn’t get enough attention either at Gordon’s or globally- Bordeaux Blanc. Bordeaux’s capacity to produce world class white wines at excellent prices is seriously underrated, and almost none of us drink as many of them as we should.
One of the most reliable, excellent value and well-loved names in the field is Chateau Carbonnieux, located in the heart of Bordeaux’s best spot for whites in Pessac Leognan. Neighboured by superstar chateaux Haut Bailly and Smith Haut Lafitte, Carbonnieux is a large (90 hectare) estate- giving it enough volume to be selective, and still make consistently excellent stuff. They’re also family owned with a focus on quality and character, so there’s no corporate pressure for high yields or to keep raising prices. Standards have remained high for as long as I’ve known the wine, and this has long made it justifiably a retail favourite.
The scores for this are good, but there’s no flashy headline here and no hyperbole. This is simply a damn good bottle of young white Bordeaux at an excellent price, in house and ready to go. 60% Sauvignon, 38% Semillon, 2 % Muscadelle, Carbonnieux is pretty much always an easy buy and not surprisingly, the 2016 is no exception.
2016 Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc, Pessac Leognan
The 2016 Carbonnieux Blanc has a generous bouquet of apple peel, lemon verbena and ginger scents that gain intensity in the glass. The palate is slightly bitter on the entry, but there is commendable weight and concentration, and the delicate peachy finish lingers in the mouth. This is a solid showing, and it should offer a decade's worth of drinking pleasure. 91 pts., Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
The Carbonnieux 2016 Blanc features fresh white peaches, Bosc pears and honeysuckle with touches of lemongrass and yuzu. Medium-bodied, refreshing and with a lovely intensity of apple and pears layers, it finishes on a mineral note. 91 pts., Lisa Perotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate